Brooklyn Nets star forward Kevin Durant put up the worst statistical half of his entire career during the Nets loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday that put Boston in the driver’s seat of their Eastern Conference playoff series with a 2-0 lead.
Durant shot a dismal 0 for 10 from the field during the second half of Game 2, which marked the most field goal attempts without a make in any half of his career, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
Durant is a combined 13-for-40 from the field in the series, and finished Game 2 going 4 for 17.
“It’s on me to just finish it and figure it out,” Durant, who managed to score 27 points, said, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “I’m not expecting my teammates or the defense to give me anything. I just got to go out there and play.”
“They’re playing two, three guys off me sometimes on me when I’m off the ball,” Durant said. “They’re mucking up actions when I run off stuff — I see [Al] Horford leaving his man to come over and hit me sometimes. Two or three guys hit me wherever I go. And that’s just the nature of the beast in the playoffs. I feel like I got a couple good shots there in the fourth that just didn’t go down, but I see a few of their guys around me every time I get the ball, and so I got to be more patient, but also play fast sometimes, too.”
The Celtics knew containing Durant was key to their success, and Celtics’ forward Jayson Tatum said Durant is “one of the most gifted scorers that we’ve seen,”.
“It can’t be easy,” Tatum said. “Can’t give him open looks, rhythm shots and things like that. So you just follow the game plan — as best as we can try to make it tough for him.”
“They’re doing a good job of trying to cut off my scoring,” Durant said. “Trying to limit my shot-making. So two or three people contest, or somebody’s there in the lane when I’m driving. They might double here and there, so they’re doing a good job. It’s on me to figure it out.”
“I think they’re being physical,” Nets head coach Steve Nash said. “They’re up and into him, grabbing him, holding him, all that stuff you come to expect. He’s just been uncomfortable. It hasn’t looked like he’s been able to quite get his rhythm.”